Botswana prioritizes the elderly above 75 for vaccination

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Botswana has adjusted its COVID-19 vaccination rollout by giving priority to the elderly above the age of 75, a health official said on Wednesday.

Due to the limited available doses and the need to actively protect the most vulnerable, the government has taken a decision to give priority to the elderly above the age of 75.

The age group continues to register a high number of severe diseases and death in all districts of the Southern African country, said Director of Health Malebogo Kebabonye.

The government realized that most people that had registered for the vaccine were younger people and the elderly were being left behind since they are not familiar with technology or have no access to the internet, said Kebabonye.

New measures, such as offline visits, have been put in place for those who are not able to register online. The ministry said that some areas have been designated as registration centers, however, members of the public are still encouraged to register online, to avoid overcrowding at vaccination centers which may also risk spreading the disease.

As of April 5, a total of 13,690 people have been vaccinated across the country. “So far we have not received any major complaints from patients who received the first jab since the start of COVID-19 vaccine rollout, only 24 patients had side effects such as flu, headache, and fever but they did recover after a few days,” said Kebabonye.

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